When I was 18, I followed my mother to a reiki training. Little did I know then, I would be introduced to one of the simplest, most powerful healing methods.

At the time, the workshop had a mystical draw for me and it was just something cool I was doing. I was dabbling if you will, with energy. I didn’t realize the gift I had been given. I mean, I knew it was a gift, from the ceremony accompanying the attunement, which is a rite of passage for reiki practitioners. I didn’t, however, make the connection between this method and its application in my life. At best, I thought it might help me meditate or ease the symptoms of a bad cold. At worst, I thought I’d have spent an afternoon fiddling with hocus pocus.

reiki principlesOver the years, I’ve tried to apply the principles of reiki and I’ve reinforced my connection in small, sporadic practices. I occasionally blessed situations and others, but I mostly used reiki on myself and on loved ones. I would use reiki in extreme situations as well, including when I’d injure myself dancing. On a few occasions, my reiki provided my mother with relief from severe pain. When she injured her shoulder (torn ligament from calcium deposit and malpractice from a physiotherapist), neither of us knew what to do to relieve her pain until we got her to see a doctor. I resorted to reiki. Then, most recently, I treated my mom with reiki during her cancer treatment (radiation and chemo double whammy) and leading up to her abdominal surgery.

Without getting into the personal details of her situation, what I’ve realized is that whether benefits-of-energy-healingor not I truly understood reiki, it was indeed powerful. It could bring relief, relaxation and speed a natural healing process. This was my own personal observation. And I was someone who had been blissfully unaware of how important reiki could be in my life and of how many people I could help with it. I hadn’t quite figured out what it meant to be an energy practitioner, whether the method were reiki or another such as qi gong or shamanic healing.

Being an energy practitioner (or healer) is accepting to be a channel. It is a vocation of service. It’s access to a great source of power, available to all who seek it, and it is a duty to use it for the greater good and overall wellness. As one of my favourite Marvel heroes has once said: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Mikao Usui

Mikao Usui – Founder of Reiki as we know it today.

And so, here I am, a decade after being introduced to Mikao Usui’s method and its benefits and I realize I have been living unconsciously, in the dark. I have been neglecting my responsibility as much as my gift. I have decided to fully embrace reiki by committing to a daily practice. If I do not treat someone actively, I at least meditate on my role as a channel, as a practitioner. I fill my body with light, reinforcing my connection. I ask to be given the awareness and the courage to follow the principles. I humbly ask to become an example of light, love and healing. I ask to understand how I can bring the best of myself and of my role as a reiki practitioner to every situation.

This newly formed commitment is but a few months old. Yet, I’ve made positive changes in my life and my perspective has changed. My faith in myself, in the Universe and in others has grown. I feel lighter and stronger simultaneously.

Reiki Symbols

Common Reiki Symbols

A month ago, I was guided to redo my first level of reiki attunement. My place was secured at the last minute. I wasn’t even sure I could attend, seeing as we were Saturday before close and I didn’t know how I’d be getting to the class (much less how I’d be paying for it). I called the training centre and was informed the reiki master would not have my registration in advance but would be informed there might be a 13th student (me).  As I walked in to the training room on that Sunday morning, the trainer looked at me and asked who I was. Spontaneously, I said: “I’m 13.” The reiki master laughed, because, as she was also an intuitive, her guides were insisting that there would be a 13th student that day, despite there only being 12 registrations on paper. “I made up 13 settings, in case you’d show up. Do you want to give me your name, now that we’ve confirmed that there’s 13 of you?” It would seem I was in the right place at the right time.

Essential Reiki - By Diane Stein

Essential Reiki, by Diane Stein

During my reiki one review, I was guided to listen. It was an exercise in connecting to purpose AND to others. Being curious and truly listening creates an atmosphere of respect and allows for healing of all kinds. I learned new things, which to my surprise, weren’t directly related to traditional reiki. I learned about the relationship with chakras, colours and angels. Being in a class of newbies and “experienced” reiki pracitioners, I also learned a lot about dealing with ego; mine and that of others. This month, I pursue my Reiki II training. It feels like a natural step to further this process.

Reiki is one of those gifts that keeps on giving. Although I thought I knew what reiki was all about, and it was almost this “cute” practice I’d learned about years ago, I still grow from it. I’ve definitely been blinded by its simplicity and I’ve often dismissed it as trivial. The reality is that reiki being a method is only as good as its users. It has immense potential and it is available anywhere, anytime. Reiki is a life force energy that anyone can use, call upon and benefit from. Saying yes to reiki is a way of saying yes to life. I’m accepting this unconditional relationship to life.